Infowars: to ban or not to ban?

For many years, Alex Jones has been spreading conspiracy theories to the American people. He has repeatedly said that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was faked and that 9/11 was an inside job. It should be easy to agree that social media sites shouldn’t allow Jones’ content on their platforms, but it’s not necessarily that simple.

When sites like Facebook and YouTube banned Jones, they only added on to the conspiracy that the media is trying to silence members of the Alt-Right. He and others may weaponize this as a recruiting tool.

Sites like YouTube do have their own policies that Jones had to agree to before starting his channel. NBC News reported that YouTube “issued a warning that more violations could result in a ban from the video platform.”

The Infowars star still has his main website up, so his ability to reach his followers has not fully gone away.

With the Internet, anyone who wishes to speak their mind may do so. Hate groups like the KKK, and Neo-Nazis have a plethora of similar sites online.

I do not know whether there is a right way to stop the spread of these lies. Maybe there is no way. If Jones is not the one speaking lies then someone else will.

This underscores the responsibility that real journalists and trustable news organizations have to help keep order. Without reliable journalists, we would never know what is actually true.